We are living a post lock down life, kids are back fully in school and all the activities are back on. The former busy lives we swore we’d never get back into the routine of are well and truly back and we are busier than ever! So how do we juggle work, home, kids, after school activities and healthy eating??
As we head into Autumn and establish the school time routines it is a good time to teach kids the role of food in fueling their energy needs for learning and play. And while we can talk the talk, how do we manage this in a practical way without relying on popping into local shop or convenience foods?
Your child will need some glucose for energy and fuel for both their brains their muscles. Calcium rich foods like dairy, fortified plant milks and Brazil nuts can be a good option here too as they will provide calcium to help maintain strong bones. Fruit or vegetables are so transportable, and I think it was Sportacus from a cartoon called Lazytown many years ago who used to refer to fruit as sports candy!
- Firstly, I would suggest pack your snacks as you pack their sports bags or music books…. Ensuring you have something with you. It’s almost what you did when they were babies! I do find this most effective as there is time to plan.
- A second lunchbox can be a good idea – small sandwich, bagel, wrap and some fruit. Putting in an insulated lunchbox can keep it fresh especially if you’re not collecting them straight from home and can be made at the same time as their regular lunch. This can be really useful if dinner is going to be pushed back time wise because of activity.
- Help your kid make the food – fuel connection. Let them understand that eating a snack on way to activity will give them more energy and help their mood.
- Activity day isn’t necessarily a treat day… try not to fall into the habit of grabbing sweet treats on these days and treat it like any other normal day when they might have a healthy snack when they get home from school.
- Don’t forget hydration! Water is the ideal choice but what is most important is that you are getting enough fluid so juice and milk can be useful too. When we are well hydrated our body can transport all the nutrients to our cells and help carry waste material out of the body. Hydration also helps lubricate our joints that are working hard in sport!
Some on the go snack ideas
- Cheese and crackers and grapes
- Blueberry oat muffins or banana muffins which can be batch made and frozen
- Banana and nut butter – (I put peanut butter in an egg cup and cover)
- Banana and yogurt drink
- Glass of plain or flavoured milk with fruit or nuts.
- Sandwich with protein filling
- Bagel with cream cheese and apples slices
- Scone and fruit
- Fruit bread
- Banana bread
- Mini pancakes and fruit
- Houmous and breadsticks, mini pittas, peppers or carrot sticks – can put humous in small container
- Low sugar cereal bars – there are lots of great varieties out there
- Yogurt drinks or pots with fruit
- Nuts and dried fruit mix